Friday, 20 December 2013

Notes towards a Disturbing Behaviour fanedit

I got it into my head recently to do an edit of 1998's Disturbing Behaviour. It's not an especially good film, but the theatrical cut still butchered what material was there by cutting out what character development was there. Add to that some badly-judged attempts at humour from a mediocre-at-best screenwriter and some dodgy uses of music, and you hobble whatever merits the film had to begin with.

In saying that, the film's not all bad. James Marsden and Katie Holmes might not be the best fit for the grungy outsider roles they played, but they do a reasonable job with them. Nick Stahl is positively excellent as the paraniod stoner. Some of the dialogue is amongst the best (or at least most realistic) dialogue given to on-screen teenagers, which is surprising in some ways. And despite the low ambitions of the screenwriter, the director did a good job of establishing a tense atmosphere.

I rewatched the film recently to make some notes and see what could be fixed. I haven't even opened the files in my editing suite yet, but I'm optimistic.

Overall goal: To strengthen the creepy, paranoid tone of the film and remove/minimise the cheesy moments/dialogue.

Strategy: Remove or trim video where necessary; change soundtrack at certain points; remove SFX if possible; reinsert deleted scenes.

New music options: Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Smash-era Offspring, RATM, Smashing Pumpkins

Possible additional footage sources: 1984, A Clockwork Orange, The Faculty

Specific changes to make:
  • Move initial sequence with Gavin to before opening titles.
  • Either remove the SFX from the opening title music, or replace the music completely with something eerier.
  • Remove/replace rock music from establishing shot of Cradle Bay High School (maybe use Offspring's "Come Out And Play").
  • Trim end of scene with Gavin & Steve in lunch hall.
  • Remove rock music from scene where carhead gets jumped by Blue Ribbons, replace with something eerier.
  • Heavily trim Rachel dancing in the back of her truck, replace music with something less rubbish.
  • See if Gavin's constant "Stevie-Boy" can be shortened to "Stevie".
  • Cut the second shot of Chug's eyes lighting up.
  • Swap closing shots of Chug's supermarket rampage so that scene ends with Rachel's "Toxic Jock Syndrome" line.
  • Trim end of Steve's fight with the Blue Ribbons after Gavin hits him and leaves.
  • Cut "I have a big Physics test tomorrow".
  • Cut Chug's silly robotic-jerkiness movement after he wrecks the e-rat-acator.
  • Cut the silliness in the asylum as much as possible (particularly Rachel screaming repeatedly).
  • Remove Flagpole Sitta from the asylum escape scene.
  • Cut janitor's "That's a big rat".
  • Cut "be the ball" while Steve is on the stretcher.
  • Cut janitor's Pink Floyd line before he drives off the cliff.
  • Cut Steve's "Be the ball" line just before he kicks Caldicott.
  • Combine footage on ferry from theatrical and original endings. Drop the Gavin-as-teacher ending completely.
  • Replace "Got You Where I Want You" in the end credits.
I'm not decided on what to go for as a title yet - currently I'm leaning towards "Aberrant", but I may change my mind.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Idle Fanedit Ideas: The Europa Report

After seeing Gravity in the cinema recently, I caught The Europa Report on Netflix. Overall I enjoyed it as a good rather than great science-fiction film. It had a lot of promise, but was let down by a couple of silly uses of the Idiot Ball for plot progression.

I'm obviously still in short film mode, because I came away from the film thinking that the best thing to do with it would be to cut together a short from it, using just the lovely Bear McCreary soundtrack, and perhaps put it in a collection of several such shorts. Certainly I think Prometheus would be at its best if presented in such a fashion, and Gravity would probably work like that as well. Possibly Oblivion would fit too.